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JAPANESE TV ADS: Ahoy, Admiral McPerry!

Did I say I was all caught up with crazy commercials fresh from the Japanese airwaves? My mistake . . . because a new batch just arrived full off summertime silliness. 

This collection contains:

• Dragonball 4D (new at Universal Studios Japan)!
• The impropriety of falling in love with a Boon
• Adrenaline by Try Sail
• The “Don’t Use the Toilet, I Just Dropped a Bomb” dance
• Admiral McPerry shakes 

JAPANESE TV ADS: Your Name

And with this, I’ve caught up to with all of the Japanese TV commercial compilations for the year so far. Going forward, I’ll try to keep up as they get posted every couple of weeks.

In this volume you’ll see (but probably not understand):

• Rubber chickens at a customs check
• Final Fantasy 13 in the boardroom
• Behind-the-scenes footage of the Pocari Sweat commercial … which itself is a Pocari Sweat commercial (how meta!)
• Rice Cat vs. Ramen Chicken
• Water Magic—how not to sweat
• An ad for the anime “Your Name,” which really is a GREAT movie, and you should watch it if you get the chance!

JAPANESE TV ADS: Hard Boiled Fettuccini Gummies

We’re nearly caught up with the best of Japanese TV commercials that have aired this year. This volume includes:

• The dangers of too much Baskin Robbins
• Rice Cat goes on a picnic
• I don’t understand what happens when you “switch on Sansei R&D,” but it sounds super funky!
• Hard Boiled Fettuccini gummies?!?
• More 8-bit adventures of the Cup Noodle Knights

JAPANESE TV ADS: Ringer Hut

More bizarre commercials snipped from the Japanese air waves. Kudos to you if you understand what the heck is going on in all of them.

This batch includes:

• The automotive version of the Pocky dance
• The ninja version of the clapper—nunchucks!
• A fairly straightforward commercial for a restaurant called “Ringer Hut” that I included only because I remember eating at Ringer Hut and NEVER being able to figure out WHY it had that name
• A crazily pulse-pounding dance for Pokari Sweat (which is basically Japanese Gatorade)
• How to taunt a rice cat

JAPANESE TV ADS: Mochi! Mochi!

I’m still catching up on the batches of wacky TV commercials plucked off the Japanese airwaves. This grouping contains selections from early April and include:

• A demonstration of the proper consistency for mochi
• The power of BINGO
• A dance to do when you’re getting undressed (while wearing a devil mask)
• The return of high school Justin Beiber

JAPANESE TV ADS: Idol Smile . . . Muscle Body

More inexplicable commercials still relatively fresh from the Japanese airwaves.

This batch contains:

• Really angry high school girls
• Idol smile . . . muscle body
• Full-D X King Kong!!!!
• An a capella drum kit

JAPANESE TV ADS: Fishnado

More commercials that are actually supposed to WORK … y’know, if you understand Japanese.

This batch contains:

• The latest pokémon . . . Usain Bolt!
• A cool new dance to do to the Popeye theme song
• A fishnado
• The world’s thinnest Oreos
• Thrilling Tales of the Golden Coffee Bean

JAPANESE TV ADS: Juicy Shopping

I’ve been remiss in posting the awesome collections of incomprehensible ads from Japanese TV. To make up for that, I’ll play catch-up all this week. Come back each day for more images that ostensibly are effective advertising IF you could understand them.

This volume contains: 

• Juicy Shopping
• Japanese High School Justin Beiber 
• Shogi/Ping Pong
• The saddest diamond ad ever
• Got troubles? Try booze!

SUMO: Natsu Basho 2017 Senshuraku [Final Day] (Day 15)

It’ senshuraku [the final day] of the Natsu Basho. Day 15 and thanks to Hakuho’s win over Terunofuji yesterday, we already know that he’s going to hoist the Emperor’s Cup and notch his 38th yusho [tournament championship], expanding on record setting career. The unanswered question at this point, though, is whether he can beat Harumafuji today and make it a zensho [perfect record] yusho. If so it would be the 13th he’s achieved that feat, also expanding an all-time record he already owned.

The Kyokai [Sumo Association] has announced which rikishi will be getting special prizes, and I’m sure it was a tough decision. This basho has been one of extremes with an unusual number of rikishi reaching double-digit wins, and a likewise unusual number of rikishi only managing to get three or four wins. 

The shukun-sho [Outstanding Performance Award] will be given to komusubi Mitakeumi who beat two yokozuna on his way to a kachi-koshi (perhaps as good a record as 9–6 if he can win again today). I say it often, Komusubi is quite probably the toughest spot on the banzuke [ranking sheet], so to not only succeed in that role but do well enough to earn a special prize really speaks to what a special sumotori Mitakeumi is, and how bright his future could be.

The kanto-sho [Fighting Spirit Prize] will be given to Onosho, who managed to get double-digit wins in his ROOKIE outing in the Makuuchi Division. He should get a big boost up the banzuke next tournament, so we’ll get to see how he fairs against tougher opponents.

And finally, there are two recipients of the gin-sho [Technique Prize]. First is komusubi Yoshikaze, who beat two yokozuna on his way to a solid winning record (again, in the toughest rank on the banzuke). This is the third time he’s won this award. The other winner it sekiwake Takayasu (who has won the prize once before), clearly for how he handled the competition so easily and racked up double-digit wins for the third tournament in a row. This is likely the last time he’ll win the prize, though, because once he’s promoted to ozeki he will no longer be eligible. 

Speaking of Takayasu’s promotion, the Kyokai has said that the official ceremony/announcement will take place this coming Wednesday. So when the Nagoya Basho kicks off in July we will have four yokozuna and three ozeki!

M15 Kaisei (7–7) vs. M9 Kagayak (8–6)—Kaisei, who just a few basho ago was up in sanyaku and looking strong, is really struggling with knee problems. If he loses this match and is make-koshi, chances are that the Brazilian will most likely be demoted into the Juryo Division. (1:10)

M6 Takekaze (4–10) vs. M11 Ishiura (7–7)—Ishiura managed to pull his record even yesterday. He’s had an up and down tournament, but he’d better be on the up side today or he’ll go down on the banzuke in July. (3:05)

ozeki Terunofuji (11–3) vs. sekiwake Takayasu (11–3)—The most recently promoted ozeki (Terunofuji) against the soon to be promoted ozeki (Takayasu). Both of them are nursing some bruises here in the final days of the tournament, but each of them wants to notch a win over the other just for ozeki bragging rights. (8:55)

yokozuna Harumafuji (11–3) vs. yokozuna Hakuho (14–0)—Hakuho already has the yusho guaranteed (the 38th of his illustrious career), but with it having been a full year since he won a tournament, finishing out with a zensho yusho would be a fine way for him to make a statement that it won’t be so long until he notches number 39. Harumafuji, on the other hand now will have gone a full year since he won a tournament, too . . . and he wants to make a statement that he’s just as tough as Hakuho. This is going to be a great bout . . . I can just feel it! (9:43)

SUMO: Natsu Basho 2017 (Day 14)

It’s Day 14 of the Natsu Basho and yokozuna Hakuho remains undefeated atop the leaderboard. Indeed, with Harumafuji’s loss yesterday, his closest competition are a trio of rikishi with 11–2 records—yokozuna Harumafuji, ozeki Terunofuji, and sekiwake Takayasu. Everyone else is now mathematically eliminated from the yusho [tournament championship] race.

Hakuho is now guaranteed at least a tie (and then a playoff) for the yusho. He faces Terunofuji today, and if he can beat the ozeki, he’ll have locked in the yusho . . . the only question remaining will be if he can make it a zensho [perfect record] yusho by defeating Harumafuji on senshuraku [the final day]. I don’t want to put the cart before the horse, and I certainly don’t want to jinx Hakuho (who hasn’t won a yusho since the 2016 Natsu Basho), but I have a hard time believing that Terunofuji will win today, particularly since he came up limping after his win over Tochiozan yesterday. Still, it should be a good, hard fought contest.

Harumafuji faces Goeido, who saved his kadoban [threat of ozeki demotion] status yesterday (thanks to the absences of Kakuryu and Kisenosato). Now the pressure is off Goeido and his performance against the top rankers doesn’t matter. Harumafuji, on the other hand MUST win to even have a CHANCE to stay in mathematical contention. The same is true for Takayasu, who faces M5 Shodai.

Looking at the top division overall (and discounting rikishi who are kyujo [withdrawn due to injury]) there are 15 rikishi who are already kachi-koshi [majority of wins] and 16 who are already make-koshi, leaving just 8 that are still on the bubble. Of those, 6 are currently ahead of the curve with 7–6 records (meaning they must only win one of their remaining matches to reach kachi-koshi) while only 2 have their backs against the wall at 6–7 and must win BOTH of their remaining matches to avoid make-koshi [majority of losses].

That SEEMS pretty even, but it’s strange how this breaks down into “performance bands.” Nearly ALL of the sanyaku rikishi are kachi-koshi, with only ONE (sekiwake Kotoshogiku) already being make-koshi. It’s just the two komusubi who are still undecided, and both Mitakeumi and Yoshikaze start today at 7–6. In the M1–M5 ranks, EVERYONE is make-koshi except for Shodai who is kachi-koshi. Most of the middle Maegashira, M6–M10, are kachi-koshi with just three of them being make-koshi, and just Ichinojo still on the bubble. When it gets down to the M11–M16, half of them are still on the bubble, but four of the remaining six are make-koshi, and only two are kachi-koshi. 

Mostly all this tells us that there will be a BIG shake-up all over the banzuke in July . . . EXCEPT for the very top, where the sanyaku ranks are going to remain pretty stable (notwithstanding Takayasu’s almost certain promotion to ozeki).

M9 Ichinojo (7–6) vs. M13 Daishomaru (8–5)—Ichinojo is one of those rikishi on the bubble. A win today or tomorrow and he’ll be up for promotion next basho. (1:10)

M11 Ishiura (6–7) vs. M4 Takarafuji (3–10)—Ishiura is also on the bubble, but in a more dangerous way. He must win BOTH today’s match and tomorrow’s in order to eke out a kachi-koshi 8–7 record. Today, he’s fighting Takarafuji, who is ranked significantly higher, but has been having a TERRIBLE tournament.  (4:10)

komusubi Mitakeumi (7–6) vs. M6 Ikioi (9–4)—Also on the bubble is Mitakeumi, but that’s often the case with a komusubi. Their Week 1 schedules are so tough that they’re sometimes lucky to even have a mathematical chance at kachi-koshi. Mitakeumi only needs one more win to get his, which is a good thing because today he’s facing Ikioi who is having a strong tournament and looking to get double-digit wins and perhaps qualify for a special prize. (7:30)

M4 Tochiozan (5–8) vs. komusubi Yoshikaze (7–6)—Yoshikaze is the other komusubi this basho, and he’s in the same situation as Mitakeumi . . . except that his opponent today has NOT been having a terrific tournament. In fact, Tochiozan has struggled and is already make-koshi. (8:05)

M5 Shodai (8–5) vs. sekiwake Takayasu (11–2)—Takayasu seems to have locked up his ozeki promotion, but he still wants to make as strong an impression on the Promotion Council as possible. A win here would keep him at least tied for second place, and give him yokozuna-like numbers for this basho. (10:15)

yokozuna Harumafuji (11–2) vs. ozeki Geoido (8–5)—The question is still out on whether or not Harumafuji’s toe is injured. He lost so quickly yesterday that no one got to see whether the injury actually played a part. Goeido, on the other hand, got his kachi-koshi and now wants to put two extra notches in the win column so it LOOKS like he had a strong tournament. (12:25)

ozeki Terunofuji (11–2) vs. yokozuna Hakuho (13–0)—This is the marquee match of the day, and perhaps the decisive one for the basho. If Hakuho wins, his lead will be unassailable and he’ll have secured his 38th yusho [tournament championship]. Unfortunately, the ozeki reinjured his knee the other day and seemed to be hobbling during his match yesterday. If Terunofuji somehow manages to pull off an upset, then he and any other two-loss rikishi will still be mathematically in the hunt and dependant upon Harumafuji to likewise win on Sunday to force a playoff. (10:50)